Managing customer releases with feature flags instead of branches

At Blend, we offer a white-labeled consumer lending platform that streamlines the otherwise manual, paper-based, and generally painful borrowing process. One challenge inherent in our business model and industry is serving a diverse set of lenders with a single product — from small independents to the largest banks — each with different levels of comfort in accepting changes to the product. Some lenders want the latest functionality as soon as it’s available, while others prefer to test every user-facing change in our beta environment for a month or more before allowing it to be promoted to production.

As we started signing more customers, supporting different cadences of feature release became more urgent. We wanted to meet the needs of our growing customer base while continuing to build and deploy changes iteratively. We considered two approaches to this challenge. To read the rest of this story, visit our new engineering blog on Medium, Full-Stack Finance.